Stone-pelting MP dairy farmers unleash buffalo shield on police, choke highway
Dairy owners in MP’s Imlia village facing eviction let loose hundreds of buffaloes on NH-7 in Jabalpur to prevent officials from dismantling their units.india Updated: Jun 04, 2017 18:36 IST
Buffaloes are their livelihood and on Saturday, the cattle were their first line of defence.
Dairy owners facing eviction for running businesses illegally in Imlia village in Madhya Pradesh’s Jabalpur let loose hundreds of buffaloes on National Highway-7 to prevent the authorities from dismantling their units.
Members of the local administration, Jabalpur municipal corporation and pollution board and a police team watched helplessly as dairy owners and their staff stopped them in their tracks, shouting slogans from behind the impenetrable buffalo wall.
Animals took over the road, blocking JCB machines and trucks brought by the civic body and also holding up vehicles on the busy Jabalpur-Sihora stretch of the highway.
The standoff continued for one-and-a-half-hour, forcing the administration to call in for more police.
But dairy owners, planted firmly behind the buffalo wall, started throwing stones.
Several people, including a police inspector, were wounded and many vehicles damaged, forcing police to cane protesters and fire teargas shells.
To defuse the situation, police, with some effort, shooed away the buffaloes and cleared the highway.
“About eight rounds of teargas shells were fired to disperse the mob,” superintendent of police MS Sikarwar said.
According to police, there are around 90 diaries that run illegally in Jabalpur and pollute rivers. The owners have ignored the Madhya Pradesh high court and national green tribunal’s orders to get the clearance from the state pollution board.
“Saturday’s action against 10 units on the banks of Pariyat river was in compliance with the high court and NGT’s orders,” sub-divisional magistrate Namah Shivay Arjaria said.
These and 80 more dairy units didn’t apply for a licence though the last date for submitting the application with the pollution board was long gone.
Additional superintendent of police R Uike said, “The dairy owners were informed about the demolition but police faced a difficult situation when they released the animals.”
Three FIRs had been lodged on the complaints of the municipal corporation, police and pollution control board.
Six dairies were dismantled on Saturday. The crackdown would continue, Arjaria said, buffalo shield or not.